what the heck is nanotech?

So, it seems that 80% of the public has no clue what “nanotechnology” really is, even though 90% of them have an opinion about it. But is the fault of the public or the nanotech evangelists? Case in point, later in the article at TGD about this, they say,

Nanotechnology is typically defined as the ability to measure, see, manipulate and manufacture things usually between 1 and 100 nanometers. Among others, the microprocessor industry has entered the nanotechnology space several years ago: For example, Intel’s 90 nm processors were introduced in 2003.

If the Intel 90nm process counts as nanotech, then we’ve had nanotech for a lot longer than 2003 – only, we called it “biotechnology“. The above is a useless definition because it’s way too broad.

A more rigorous definition of nanotech comes from Foresight, which has been the Slashdot of the nanotech world for over a decade. They describe nanotech in terms of fabricating devices and materials to atomic specifications – ie, single-atom manipulation. The classic text on nano is Drexler’s; the classic science fiction is Diamond Age – those are the benchmark by which we should evaluate the concept.

I don’t see Intel CPUs running out of control and turning the planet into a gob of gray goo.